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|Congregation for the Clergy|
General Directory for Catechesis
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182. The Church, while regarding young people as "hope", also sees them as "a great challenge for the future of the Church" (77) herself. The rapid and tumultuous socio-cultural change, increase in numbers, self-affirmation for a consistent period before taking up adult responsibilities, unemployment, in certain countries conditions of permanent under-development, the pressures of consumer society—all contribute to make of youth a world in waiting, not infrequently a world of disenchantment, of boredom, of angst and of marginalization. Alienation from the Church, or a least diffidence in her regard, lurks in many as a fundamental attitude. Often this reflects lack of spiritual and moral support in the family and weaknesses in the catechesis which they have received. On the other hand, many of them are driven by a strong impetus to find meaning, solidarity, social commitment and even religious experience.
183. Some consequences for catechesis arise from this. The service of the faith notes above all the contrasts in the condition of youth as found concretely in various regions and environments. The heart of catechesis is the explicit proposal of Christ to the young man in the Gospel; (78) it is a direct proposal to all young people in terms appropriate to young people, and with considered understanding of their problems. In the Gospel young people in fact speak directly to Christ, who reveals to them their "singular richness" and calls them to an enterprise of personal and community growth, of decisive value for the fate of society and of the Church.(79) Therefore young people cannot be considered only objects of catechesis, but also active subjects and protagonists of evangelization and artisans of social renewal.(80)
76) Cf. DCG (1971) 82; EN 72; MDP 3; CT 38-39; ChL 46; TMA 58.
77) GE 2; ChL 46.
78) Cf. Mt 19:16-22; cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Letter to Youth Parati Semper (31 March 1985): AAS 77 (1985), pp. 579-628.
79) Cf. John Paul II, "Parati semper", n. 3.
80) ChL 46; DCG (1971) 89.
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